A Chaos Moondrawn Review : The Story of Us By Logan Meredith

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

This is told in the first person POV of Kyle, a 40-year-old construction worker and part-time student. This is meant to be a standard, realistic man meets man romance without cliches, except he falls in love a gay porn star, Lucas, better known to fans as Tommy. Kyle tells the story looking back on how they met, the way people tell something when others ask them at a dinner party, through the lens of entertainment and nostalgia that turns into first person flashbacks so the author can add in all the world-building details for the reader to picture. Their meet cute is almost ruined by a misunderstanding, but Lucas persists. Yet, the porn star issue throws Kyle for a loop and it doesn’t look like this thing is going to sprout wings.

With the 17 year age difference Kyle is worried that he’s at a different place in his life; he wants marriage, kids, pets, and a home that he’s built. This is Kyle’s POV, so the reader sees his journey to become more open minded, to overcome his doubts, learn to compromise better, and not to care so much about what other people think. Many times when I only have one point of view, I feel like I missed things or that I don’t know the other characters as well–not so here! These characters come alive and feel real. Kyle and Lucas suffer from the same insecurities many of us do. As Kyle and Lucas fall into a relationship, it’s in a bubble, so I was waiting for it to pop which the author acknowledges. This doesn’t feel cliched or full of tropes. It can be difficult to integrate two lives together with work, family, friends, schedules, belongings, hobbies, etc. This doesn’t have manufacturered crises, real life gives all of them plenty; much of the drama in our lives comes from family and friends and trying to navigate to find our own path.

Here’s the thing: porn is a job and actors are people. I have met plenty of people who chose porn as a career. I think this was mostly realistic, if romanticized and less jaded. I have gone to AEE (Adult Entertainment Expo) in Vegas, although I didn’t get to go to the AVN Award Show. At one point Kyle thinks he knows why Lucas does porn and thinks he can fix him. Thankfully he gets over himself, because he’s wrong. Lucas loves his career and he’s not ashamed of what he does for a living. The sex scenes between Kyle and Lucas are not just smoking hot, but intimate. Top, bottom, dominant, submissive, Daddy, vers–these are all just words but Lucas and Kyle make them real by roleplaying and having fun. That’s what trust is. The difference between the porn scenes and the real sex is very clear. The moment when Kyle is all in, is perfect: “I would love him like I’d learned to ride a bike—scared, but reckless, without pads or training wheels. If I crashed, my scars would tell our story.” I smiled so much, my face hurt. I don’t think I’ve read this author before, but I definitely will again. If you support choice and want a story where sex workers are positively depicted with heartwarming, real characters, give this a chance.

The cover art is by Cherith Vaughan and shows a romantic scene from one of their dates.

Sales Links:  Pride Publishing | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 233 pages
Published September 17th 2019 by Pride Publishing
ASINB07W57MLFC

Logan Meredith on Writing, Stories, and her new release Crossroads (author interview)

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Crossroads (States of Love) by Logan Meredith
Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Brooke Albrecht
Pre-Order Links: DSP
ǁ Amazon ǁ Barnes&Noble

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Logan Meredith here today talking about writing, stories, and her latest release Crossroads, a States of Love story from Dreamspinner Press. Welcome, Logan.

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Hello and thanks to Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for allowing me a chance to talk about my latest book, Crossroads.  Crossroads is the newest release in the States of Love series by Dreamspinners Press.  I’ve loved this series and am so pleased to be contributing the Indiana installment. 

Do you enjoy research or prefer making up your worlds and cultures?

Research absolutely plays a role in my writing.  I love to write real contemporary characters from various walks of life, races, religions, etc.  My most researched character was Asim Bishara, a Muslim firefighter whose first love dies in 9/11 in Expanded Hearts.  I learned so much about asexuality while writing Crossroads.

Have you ever had to put an ‘in progress’ story aside because of the emotional ties with it?  You were hurting with the characters or didn’t know how to proceed?

Yes, actually Crossroads was one such project. I usually start with a very well thought out primary character and then create his perfect love as the story evolves.  In Crossroads Ethan was my principal character which is why the story starts with him, but as soon as Marcus came into being, he took over.  I set it aside because while Ethan was very determined and stable, Marcus was just hopelessly lost.  It took me several breaks to get Marcus his happy ending.

Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?

Definitely Happily Ever After.  I don’t like reading books where I feel like the story isn’t complete.  It’s hard because the story timeline sometimes doesn’t give you a chance to wrap everything all neatly together.  I will usually add an epilogue to ensure all the bows are tied for my reader.

With so much going on in the world today, do you write to explain?  To get away?  To move past?  To wide our knowledge?  Why do you write?

I write because I hear voices.  It’s sad but true.  My characters will literally harass me until I get their stories down. 

 

What’s next for you as a writer?

I just finished a new novel about an older man who falls in love with a gay porn star.  My other WIP is Troy’s story from the Heartland Series.

About the Book

Release Date: January 5, 2018
Blurb
Despite the best-laid plans, life sometimes has other ideas.

Ethan Yoder has toiled to escape his small-minded farming community, and he’s finally earned his degree and made it to Indianapolis—where he lands a job at a pharmaceutical company and meets handsome and successful Marcus. Marcus introduces Ethan to the fun-filled life of his dreams—fancy dinners, courtside seats at NBA games, even a trip to the Indianapolis 500. But Marcus’s happy-go-lucky veneer hides a man frustrated with a job he hates and his failure at romance due to factors he’s only beginning to understand. Ethan still has his eyes on the prize—a lucrative career—and he must figure out how to hold on to one opportunity without letting another slip away. If he and Marcus can come to a deeper understanding, their road might lead to a happily ever after. 

States of Love: Stories of love that span every corner of the United States.

About the Author

Logan Meredith began writing as a teenager when beautiful boys started keeping her company at night. Unfortunately, the voices she heard were imaginary, and their conversations resulted in horrible insomnia. They only let her sleep when she started to type their words down. Thankfully, being awkward as hell and a head taller than anyone else in the school afforded plenty of spare time for writing.

At first she tried to make them play with characters from her favorite television series or books. She found her lost tribe with a ravenous, crazy group of fan-fiction lovers online and started sharing her stories publicly. Then something amazing happened—new characters arrived and demanded their own stories. Only they wanted their own world to play in and they wanted to find their true loves. So, between her day job and making time for her family, she tries to keep up with the demands from her beautiful men for their happily ever afters.

A native of San Antonio, Texas, and a graduate of the University of Texas-San Antonio, Logan is an accomplished cross-country mover, having honed her skills bouncing between five states. She currently resides in Houston, Texas. In addition to writing, she spends her time reading and rereading her favorite books, cheering for the San Antonio Spurs, playing Words with Friends, and procrastinating pretty much everything else.

Logan is a proud member of the LGBTQA community and vocal advocate for mental health awareness, suicide prevention, and equality campaigns.

Logan welcomes the chance to interact with readers.

Twitter:@LL_Meredith

Email:loganmeredith2015@gmail.com

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Open Hearts (Heartland #3) by Logan Meredith

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

open-heartsAsim Bishara is a firefighter in Indianapolis, the city he settled in when he left his family-of-origin behind in New York City after the 9-1-1 attack. He lost his family after he admitted he was in love with Steven, a firefighter who died when the World Trade Center collapsed. He never stopped loving Steven, even now, thirteen years later, though he was a teen at the time, and they had only just admitted their love for each other right before he died. He’s afraid to come out to fellow firefighters, and that, in combination with his inability to move through his grief, contributes to an accident at a fire scene which ends up hospitalizing him.

Finally attempting to have a social life after the death of his husband, Zach, who died the previous New Year’s Eve, Ángel Stanford gets a babysitter for his daughter, Gracie, and heads to a party given by his friends Jude and Sean, Healed Hearts (Heartland #2). There he meets Asim who, he’s been told, is new to the gay scene and needs to dip his toes into the water of casual relationships. But his friends are wrong—Asim is looking for anything but casual, and he certainly isn’t interested in this outwardly effeminate, flamboyant character who seems to be flirting with him.

Not a good start and neither man is happy at the end of the evening. It’s shortly after this event that Asim ends up in the hospital from his on-scene accident, and the part-time nurse assigned to his case is Ángel. Not taking advantage of that, Ángel nevertheless learns a bit about this man, and when they meet again at a bereavement support group, Ángel learns even more of Asim’s story, and yet Ángel is still hesitant to speak of his own grief. I enjoyed the way the author allowed for a very slow burn to the start-up of this relationship, at the same time giving readers their back story and allowing us to learn more about each man in the way he deals with the grief of loss.

This is definitely not a see-each-other-insta-love story, and yes, there’s angst, but it’s very well done and makes for a highly satisfying read. Throughout the course of the months in which the story takes place, we witness Ángel going through the stages of grief for Zach, finally coming to terms with his death, but it’s a long time before he’s able to cope with and act on his feelings for Asim. In the meantime, Asim is seeing a therapist and coming to terms with his grief and his virginal attempts at having a relationship, including finding the patience to wait for Ángel.

Of all three books in this series, I liked this one best. It had much more depth and touched me deeply, tugging on my heartstrings throughout most of the story. It’s a beautiful love story, both past and present. I hope that those who like hurt-comfort or healing from grief stories consider picking this one up. And, although the story includes returning characters from previous stories in the series, that in no way impacts the enjoyment of this one so it can easily be read as a standalone.

Cover art by Paul Richmond beautifully depicts Ángel and Asim with a picture of Ángel, Zach, and Gracie sitting on the table behind them, symbolizing Asim’s acceptance that Zach will always have a place in Ángel’s heart.

Sales Links

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Book Details:

ebook, 1st edition, 260 pages
Expected publication: November 25th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1634777905 (ISBN13: 9781634777902)
Edition LanguageEnglish
URL
SeriesHeartland #3

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Expanded Hearts (Heartland #2) by Logan Meredith

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Expanded HeartsPsychologist Victor Mascari and his partner, spa-owner Derek Jameson, have been together eight years, but their relationship is still evolving. Derek distrusts monogamy because of his parents’ messy divorce, but as marriage equality advances, Victor’s doubts about their open relationship are growing. He doesn’t necessarily want a legal union, but he’s increasingly concerned about how others view them.

When Victor comes home to find Derek with another new conquest, he’s annoyed… at first. As he gets to know Antonio, Victor discovers the young man is intelligent, self-assured, and charming. This time, it’s Victor who is intrigued by someone else and Derek who thinks Victor’s interest is crossing the lines they’ve agreed on. If Victor wants to keep Derek, he’ll have to let Antonio go.

But Antonio is in real trouble and has nowhere to turn. Victor and Derek take him in, and it soon becomes clear how well he fits into their lives and how strong the bonds between all of them are growing. A committed relationship between three men—all very different in age and background—is enough of a challenge, and then the horrifying secrets of Antonio’s abusive past emerge.

I honestly did not expect to enjoy this story as much as I did. Open relationship? Ménage? The blurb intrigued me, however, and I’m so happy I took the plunge. What the blurb doesn’t tell us is that Antonio leaves shortly after he and Victor get to meet and talk for a while, and part of Victor’s intrigue with Antonio is his feeling that Antonio was hiding too many personal details, over and above the fact that he ate breakfast as if he was starving, and his clothes were worn beyond what’s considered fashionable. When he happens to meet him once again, he arranges to treat the young man to lunch.

When Victor’s partner, Derek, a gorgeous, tall, muscular black man finds out, he blows his top. He feels as if Victor went behind his back and arranged a date. And that’s totally unlike Victor, the forty-something, slender, self-effacing psychologist. There are so many starts and stops and complications between Victor and Derek about Antonio that even his name begins to drive a wedge between them—all this without Victor ever even taking Antonio to bed. And Antonio has disappeared anyway, so why the continued strife, Victor wonders. But all of that drama added to the three-dimensional character-building the author put together so that we become as entangled in this story as the characters are.

As it turns out, there’s so much more to Antonio than either man knew, and his background turns out to be positively heartbreaking. He’s also linked to one of Victor’s patients, and his hoped-for relationship with Antonio, whether real or platonic, will definitely cause Victor trouble with his professional ethics.

Once they have found Antonio, reconciled their differences about him, and brought him under their wing, rather than finding peace, the intrigue surrounding Antonio follows him, and not just from outside sources—Derek’s mother comes into play at this point in the story when she happens to drop by and “catch” Victor with Antonio. Unfortunately, she not only never accepted Derek as gay, she never supported his eight-year relationship with Victor—primarily because Victor was both older and white. Her character is very reminiscent of a Bible-thumping wicked witch, and she positively reels when she finds out from Derek just why the “boy” was brought into their home. Her prejudices know no bounds, and she’s possibly one of the best/worst examples of a nasty mother I’ve read.

In the early stages of the story, I found myself aggravated as I read—first by Derek and then by Victor. I wanted them to find some common sense and just get going, but around the 40% mark, I realized I was so caught up in the story and the drama surrounding Anthony that I couldn’t put the book down, and I stayed up late one night just to get to the conclusion. It was very, very good, and I recommend it to all my fellow MM romance lovers.

The drawn cover by Paul Richmond isn’t very appealing, mostly due to the colors used, but it does closely represent the three characters who ultimately form a strong ménage relationship in this story.

Sales Links

        

Book Details:

ebook, 224 pages
Expected publication: August 12th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1634775376 (ISBN13: 9781634775373)
Edition LanguageEnglish

SeriesHeartland #2